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Every year, this series honours three important women in French history. For this third year, it enters the 19th century with a French empress, a queen of Sweden and a woman of letters. These coins feature a “free strike” that highlights backgrounds inspired by rich textile motifs from that era.
Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763–1814) was the first wife of Napoleon I, and thus the first Empress of the French as Joséphine.
Her marriage to Napoleon I was her second; her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she was imprisoned in the Carmes prison until five days after his execution. Her two children by Beauharnais became significant to royal lineage. Through her daughter, Hortense, she was the maternal grandmother of Napoleon III. Through her son, Eugène, she was the great-grandmother of later Swedish and Danish kings and queens. The reigning houses of Belgium, Norway and Luxembourg also descend from her. She did not bear Napoleon any children; as a result, he divorced her in 1810 to marry Marie Louise of Austria.
Joséphine was the recipient of numerous love letters written by Napoleon, many of which still exist. Her Château de Malmaison was noted for its magnificent rose garden, which she supervised closely, owing to her passionate interest in roses, collected from all over the world.
Depicts Joséphine’s portrait surrounded by her dates and name. The background of the coin depicts one of the tapestries which can be found in the Malmaison Castle. This XVIIth century castle was bought by Joséphine in 1799. It was the Bonaparte familial house and became one of the French Government’s location between 1800 and 1802. Inside the castle, we could find different rooms garnished with marble, gilding, mosaic and also a rich collection of artwork painted at the beginning of Napoleon’s reign. When the couple got separated, Joséphine kept the castle and died there in 1814.
JOSÉPHINE DE BEAUHARNAIS
Depicts the scene of Joséphine coronation as Empress by Napoleon Ist in 1804. The Coronation of Napoleon (French: Le Sacre de Napoléon) is a painting completed in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David, the official painter of Napoleon, depicting the coronation of Napoleon I at Notre-Dame de Paris. The painting has imposing dimensions, as it is almost 10 metres (33 ft) wide by a little over 6 metres (20 ft) tall. The work is held in the Louvre in Paris. The background beaded by bees reminds First Empire and Napoleon Ist symbols. Value and date below.
CORONNEMENT DE JOSÉPHINE 1804